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Conceptual Shift: New York's Growing Again

For decades, New York City's boom times lay deep in the past. Now that the city's growing again, Aaron Renn says New York may need to take cues from the Sun Belt, of all places.
May 16, 2016, 7am PDT | Philip Rojc | @PhilipRojc
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Like many of its northeastern brethren, New York had long been a manager of its own slow decline. But now, for the nation's biggest city at least, that has obviously changed. Aaron Renn writes, "One reason New York is struggling to deal with subway crowding – and housing and other matters – is that it is now facing a kind of problem northern cities haven't had to deal with in a long, long time: the problem of growth."

After losing population for years, the current boom period simply "refilled" the city to previous capacity. "This was almost like getting free money for places like New York. Their infrastructure had been built for a larger population – in some cities a much larger population – and so there was no need to expand it to accommodate the growth. Life was good."

But now, the city's resurgence threatens to overwhelm public and private infrastructure already in place. "Regardless of the specifics, the question is, what does New York need to do to start thinking like a growth city again? [...] If NYC doesn't figure it out, we already see the consequences: overcrowded trains and soaring housing costs [...]" as well as infrastructure that might not withstand, say, a string of future Hurricane Sandys.

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Published on Wednesday, May 4, 2016 in Urbanophile
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